I want to take a moment to celebrate. While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with autism (past, present and future) for my son, I need to rejoice in what I am seeing right now. These things I’ll tell you about may seem little to those who don’t have a child with autism because they come so naturally for typical kids. Parents likely take them for granted… unless they don’t happen. For us, these glimpses represent progress that we can’t deny. Josiah will turn 2 years, 8 months old in a couple of days, and he’s turning a corner.
Our son is emerging. The veil seems to be lifting. We see it. His therapists see it. In addition to other vitamin supplements, we’ve done three rounds of oral chelation (DMSA) so far with our little guy (DAN! protocol), which gets the heavy metals like mercury, lead, etc. out of the body. Most kids with autism have impaired ability to detoxify and it causes a lot of problems biologically and neurologically. We believe that in the six weeks since we started chelation that Josiah’s depth of interaction has improved, his understanding of what we’re saying has gone up, and his spontaneous requesting has increased. His eye contact is more meaningful. Things that make you go hmmm. Here are few examples:
- Josiah is more giggly and tickled by things like barking dogs (loves any dogs!), running around at the park, and having us help him make big jumps up in the air. He’s clearly sharing that enjoyment with us and wants us to be a part of it. All of his therapists also say he’s been very engaged with them and even other peers at school.
- For the first time in a long time, Josiah is “noticing” things. He looked up at a helicopter in the sky while we were on a walk. Previously, you’d say “look,” and he would be oblivious. When we were at the park, a little girl was passing him on the climber, and he looked up at her and tickled her belly. While on a walk, we passed a girl walking her bike on the sidewalk. Josiah smiled, let out a little squeal and locked eyes with her. His therapists say that he’s getting all curious about what other therapists are up to when working with his peers. He’s nosy now… this is a little boy that just a few months ago wouldn’t turn to something in his immediate peripheral vision. It’s like he’s waking up to the world.
- While Josiah was running around on the lawn, I held my arms out and he locked eyes with me and ran right into my arms with delight. Then he ran over to Daddy’s.
- Josiah is really into people whistling right now. He comes up and says, “Whistle.” While you’re doing it, he tries to purse his lips and do it too. Kids with autism have difficulty imitating. He’s getting the concept. It’s cute to see him looking at himself in the mirror these days too as he discovers that little boy will “imitate” what he’s doing.
- He’s using more two-word sentences. While he has a number of single-word labels and commands, he’s had a hard time expanding to more phrases, but he’s using more of them in a number of situations now, like “get out,” “let go,” “come on,” “drink it,” “sing songs.” He even said to his grandparents, “Go for a walk.” While formal syntax is a bit limited, he’s actually able to communicate with us quite well, which reduces his frustration.
Then, there are some financial blessings that have come out of nowhere, and we are thanking God for them. Certainly, the flow of money going out is high with supplements and treatments not covered by insurance, along with organic food and household items to cut down on toxins. In the midst of all this, we made a commitment to continue our regular level of giving back to God’s work through our church and other organizations, and I don’t know how God does it, but we always have our needs covered. Often, it just shouldn’t make sense how the bank account balances out. But, just recently, we’ve had unexpected checks come from family members, gift cards to an organic foods store from some church friends, our autism conference paid for and a free night in a hotel, a $1,000 hail damage deductible for siding and roofing covered, and more. In addition, we are so very blessed that Josiah’s school for autism, where he attends 40 hours a week, is covered by insurance–my husband’s insurance is one of a precious few that cover it in MN.
So, I’m praying for more and more progress for Josiah. You can’t tell me this stuff isn’t working. It doesn’t work for every kid, certainly, but I think we would have a very different boy right now if we wouldn’t have done biomedical treatments along with intensive early intervention therapies. We’ll keep doing what we can do, and trust God to do what only He can do.